HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE TO GET A CDL?
WHAT IS A CDL?
CDL fully refers commercial driver’s license (CDL).
Commercial driver’s license allows a tested and approved driver to operate certain types of motor vehicles including 18-wheeler trucks, tour buses, school buses, tanker vehicles and vehicles transporting hazardous materials.
TYPES OF COMMERCIAL DRIVER’S LICENSES
Many people are unsure which license they need to drive a certain vehicle. Below are the main commercial driver’s licenses and the types of vehicle they cover.
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THREE MAIN TYPES OF COMMERCIAL DRIVER’S LICENSES
• Class A CDL
• Class B CDL
• Class C CDL
CLASS A : A class A Commercial Driver’s License is a type of CDL required to operate any combination of vehicles that together have a GVWR at least 26,001 pounds. This also incorporates a vehicle being towed that weighs more than 10,000 pounds. Including:
• Truck and trailer combined
• Tanker vehicles
• Livestock carriers
• Tractor-trailer buses
CLASS B : A Class B Commercial Driver’s License allows drivers to operate any single vehicle at least 26,001 or heavier or any type of vehicle that is towing another vehicle of 10,000 pounds or less. Including:
• Larger buses e.g. city, tourist and school buses
• Box trucks, usually used for delivery
• Straight trucks
• Segmented buses
• Dump trucks (including small trailers attached)
CLASS C: If the vehicle being operated does not meet the criteria for either a Class A or B license and is meant to transport a minimum of 16 passengers including the driver, or a hazardous material, it will fall into Class C. Other certifications may be needed by their drivers to operate specific vehicles e.g. tanks.
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CRITERIA REQUIRED TO RECEIVE A CDL
Commercial driver’s license requirements vary by state, however many requirements are universal with some even federally mandated.
• Have a valid non-commercial driver’s license
• Be at least 18 years old (21 to drive interstate or with hazardous materials)
• Have obtained at least 1-2 years of experience driving (varies by state)
• Have good medical/physical health (DOT medical certification)
• Have lawful permanent residency (e.g. US Citizen/Green card)
• Have no active driver’s license suspensions or revocations in any state
• Be able to read and speak English
HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE TO GET A CDL
On average, it takes about seven weeks to get your CDL (commercial driver’s license) when attending a full-time driver training program. The length of time it takes to get your CDL relies on a handful of factors. It can take as little as three weeks or upwards of six months.